H. Detering, “The Gnostic Meaning of the Exodus”—A commentary (Pt. 12)

Simon MagusPart 2—Person or cipher? In the Clementine writings, the adversary Simon is nothing less than a (false) Christ figure. This is clear from the way Peter speaks of him: “For who would not marvel at the wonders done by him [Simon Magus], so as to think of him as a god come down from the heavens for the salvation of human beings?” (Rec. 2.6; Gebhardt p. 49; emphases added.) This must cause wonder. For over fifteen hundred years the West has been inured to only one Christ figure: Jesus of Nazareth. However, when one investigates the plethora of texts that did not make it into the canon, other Christ figures emerge—and each will surprise most modern readers. They include … Continue reading

H. Detering, “The Gnostic Meaning of the Exodus”—A commentary (Pt. 11)

The Peratae (Part 2) [Detering writes, p.4:] The connection between the Peratae and the Exodus theme is already evident in their name. According to Hippolytus, it derives from the Greek for “cross over/cross through” [Ger. hindurchgehen, < Gk. περαν]. In other words, they considered themselves “those who have crossed over”…   …For the Peratae, the creation is the realm of nothingness and transience. Because all is subject to these characteristics, for the Peratae there is only one way to salvation: man must pass through his demise—which he cannot avoid—even before physical death. [R.S.] The above paragraphs combine two concepts: (1) passing through/crossing over—that is, transcending this material realm of “nothingness”; and (2) doing so before physical death. The former is … Continue reading

H. Detering, “The Gnostic Meaning of the Exodus”—A commentary (Pt. 9)

Simon MagusPart 1 [Dr. Detering writes, p.3:] We encounter another allegorical interpretation of the Exodus motif with Simon Magus, as reported by the church father Hippolytus… The passage gives an analogy between the World Tree and the umbilical cord of the growing fetus in the womb. In Simon’s allegorical thought, the Book of Exodus is symbolic: [Hippolytus writes:] Again, the inscription of the second book is Exodus. Now, they say [Simon Magus] calls the Red Sea blood—and who has been produced, passing through the Red Sea, must then come into the wilderness and taste bitter water. For bitter, he says, is the water which is drunk after crossing the Red Sea; which water is a path to be trodden that … Continue reading

John was Jesus? (Price) Pt. 3

“Was Jesus John the Baptist Raised from the Dead?” by Robert M. Price, Ph.D. Being Chapter Seven of Jesus is Dead (American Atheist Press, 2007) Reproduced by permission, in three parts. With occasional added footnotes in green by R. Salm Part Three Narrative Mitosis Is the whole thing utterly implausible? If an historical analogy would help, recall F.C. Baur’s theory that Simon Magus was a bifurcated “evil twin” of the Apostle Paul. Simon Magus was at first a caricature of Paul understood as a usurping opponent of Simon Peter, a false pretender to apostleship who sought to purchase the recognition by the Pillars by means of the collection made among the Gentile churches (compare Acts 8:18-24 with Galatians 2:7-10). As … Continue reading

John was Jesus? (Price) Pt. 2

“Was Jesus John the Baptist Raised from the Dead?” by Robert M. Price, Ph.D. Being Chapter Seven of Jesus is Dead (American Atheist Press, 2007) Reproduced by permission, in three parts. With occasional added footnotes in green by R. Salm Part Two In a Looking Glass Darkly Mark 1:14 (“And after John had been delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God.”) has Jesus neatly replace John on the public stage, occasioning the popular opinion that Jesus’ public advent signaled the miraculous return of John. Note the use of paradidomi, the same pregnant word used for the sacrificial delivering up of Jesus to death, whether by God (Romans 8:32) or by Judas Iscariot (Mark 3:19). Can the … Continue reading

Samaria: The Messiah’s Homeland (Ory) Pt. 1

by Georges Ory Cahiers du Cercle Ernest Renan, no. 11 (1956) Edited and translated from the French by R. Salm (April, 2012) Note: Bracketed editorial additions are in green and signed “R.S.” Original page numbers are in brackets. Part One The Simonian origins of Jesus and the woman at the well (Jn 4) Several indications have suggested—as Prosper Alfaric proposed—that the messiah of Samaria had become subordinated to the Judean messiah. It appears to us, also, that the Judean messiah eventually totally replaced the Samaritan while appropriating the latter’s gospel and his various writings. Towards the year 30 of our era, the opposition between Judea and Samaria was at its height. At the same time, Jesus showed an extraordinary goodwill … Continue reading

Georges Ory

Georges Antoine Alphonse Ory (1897–1983) was the son of Alphonse Ory, an employee of the French public administration of postal services and telecommunications, and of Marie Guérin. Ory studied in Paris where he received diplomas in liberal studies and political science as well as a license to practice law. From the age of 19 he was active in the Grand Lodge of France (Masons). He would eventually be listed among its dignitaries. In April 1933 he married Suzanne Crozier in Neuilly-sur-Seine. It is not known if they had children. Ory was an active member of the Parti Radical (a centrist party despite its name) which upholds the principles of private property and secularism (anti-clericalism). He was elected Secretary of the … Continue reading

Samaria: The Messiah’s Homeland (Ory) Pt. 4

by Georges Ory Cahiers du Cercle Ernest Renan, no. 11 (1956) Edited and translated from the French by R. Salm (April, 2012) Note: Editorial additions are in green. Part Four (I have taken the liberty of placing seminal theses of Ory in bold—R.S.) John = Dositheus Most of the Church Fathers reported that Simon the Magician was a disciple of John the Baptist and of Dositheus. He was the favorite disciple of John, and at the latter’s death Simon returned from Egypt where he had gone to learn. After having been accepted into the group of Thirty by Dositheus, Simon eventually took the latter’s place, succeeding both John and Dositheus after a short period. The history of Simon’s beginning must … Continue reading

Samaria: The Messiah’s Homeland (Ory) – pt. 3

by Georges Ory Cahiers du Cercle Ernest Renan, no. 11 (1956) Edited and translated from the French by R. Salm (April, 2012) Note: Editorial additions are in green. Part Three Simon and the Taheb or “Messiah” It was in Samaria that the belief in the messiah, which was very old, appeared most coherently. This messiah—the Taheb—would return divine favor to Samaria (that is, to “Israel”), would return the tabernacle and the cult to Mt. Gerizim and would live one hundred and ten years. He was Moses returned to save his own, a conception opposed to that of the Jews of Jerusalem. At his death evil would multiply until the Day of Judgment at the end of the world. On that … Continue reading

Samaria: The Messiah’s Homeland (Ory) Pt. 2

by Georges Ory Part Two Cahiers du Cercle Ernest Renan, no. 11 (1956) Edited and translated from the French by R. Salm (April, 2012) Note: Bracketed editorial additions are in green and signed “R.S.” Who was the disciple of Beelzebul? From the foregoing, it is not surprising that the doctors and Levites of Jerusalem suspected that this prophet Jesus—either a Samaritan or a friend of the Samaritans—was an heretic. Scribes and Pharisees accuse him of exorcising demons because he is in league with the prince of demons, Beelzebul (Mk 3:22; Mt 9:34; 12:24), and they say that Jesus is himself Beelzebul (Mt 10:25). Even Jesus’ own family accused him of being out of his mind (Mk 3:21). In replying (v. … Continue reading